From A to Zed: A Case Study of CSU's 1st Undergraduate "Z-Major"
Concurrent Session 10
This session uses the Communication program at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) as a case study to explain how it become one of the CSU’s first undergraduate “Z-Majors.” The session will conclude by engaging the audience in ways this effort can be extended to additional universities beyond CSUCI.
This proposed session uses the Communication program at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) as a case study example to explain how it become one of the CSU’s first undergraduate “Z-Majors” (i.e., majors that offer students a zero-cost pathway through the entire curriculum via OERs). More specifically, this session will use Everett Rogers’ (1962/2003) diffusion of innovations theory to detail the 5-step process CSUCI took from the start of “openCI” in Fall 2016 to the launch of Communication’s Z-Major in Fall 2018. (1) Step one of this process involved a university-wide approach to recruiting faculty “innovators” from across all areas of campus. (2) Step two included a cohort-style “Ambassador Program 2.0” that focused on “early adopters,” and the identification of specific programs where these early adopters had created a natural groundswell of support. (3) Step three concentrated on the Communication program by analyzing its entire curriculum class-by-class. (4) Step four involved developing and implementing a program-level Action Plan for Communication that removed any remaining barriers to it becoming a “Z-Major.” (5) Step five focused on scaling Communication’s Z-Major efforts in a sustainable way, while mindfully celebrating the faculty members’ collective achievements. After offering a brief timeline of major events and further detailing the aforementioned five-step process, we will use the session's final 10 minutes to engage audience members in both Q&A and group discussion. Discussion topics will include - but are not limited to - sustainability, scalability, cross-campus and intercampus collaboration, etc. In order to foster audience engagement, they will be asked to consider their own institutions: (1) specific barriers they have or would expect to experience in initiating their own Z-Major, (2) with protential strategies for addressing those barriers, (3) ways in which this case study's 5-step process might be applied to additional programs beyond CSUCI, and so on.